Despite its past efforts not yielding any results, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to make yet another attempt for popularisation of cycling in the city by formulating a comprehensive plan.
“We have started discussions with all those into selling bicycles, repairing them and the users. After consultation with them, the plan would be finalised by October-end,” Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said on Wednesday.
The plan would include proposing necessary infrastructure work to achieve the objective of increasing use of bicycle in city.
Over the years, the PMC has constructed 123 kilometres of cycle tracks in the city under the JNNURM. However, most of it is in a bad condition. This has drawn the ire of civic activists who allege that the administration has failed to take steps to maintain them.
After coming under fire, civic officials said PMC had been making efforts to prepare a plan for promoting use of bicycle among residents. The existing cycle tracks have been encroached upon by hawkers or used for parking. Also, most of the cycle tracks are in a damaged state.
As per the 2011 census, nine per cent of city population use bicycles and the PMC has set a target of increasing it to 25 per cent in the next few years.
The PMC has appointed the consortium of iTrans – Innovative Transport Solutions Pvt Ltd, Prasanna Desai Architects and Centre for Environment Education as consultants for preparing a Comprehensive Bicycle Plan.
The focus of the plan would be improving the existing cycle track for use by cyclists and creating a network of cycle tracks across the city with connectivity to main roads.
In 2008, the PMC had first proposed public bicycle sharing plan for the city wherein people would hire and ride bicycles for commuting within city. The then municipal commissioner, Praveensinh Pardeshi, had introduced a cycle day in the civic body and himself cycled to office to encourage others to follow him. Then Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal and a few other corporators, along with civic officials, too initially cycled to office on the “Cycle day” but it later abandoned the practice.
PMC has floated tenders for public bicycle plan at least four times but could not implement it. In February last year, the Union Urban Development Ministry urged the civic body it to prepare a comprehensive bicycle plan for the city as a model to be replicated across the country.